Friday, March 16, 2012
Three weeks of lost teacher time to scoring this year!
Not only will there be six days of standardized testing this spring, with 70 minutes more in math and 25 minutes more for our poor third grade students, but there will also be three WEEKS in which teachers will be removed from the classroom to score these exams. Unless, that is, a school can afford thousands of dollars to pay their way out of this situation, which few can afford after years of cuts. The DOE used to pay teachers per session (over vacation) to score these tests, but in a move a few years ago that was publicized as "cuts" to central administration, they shifted the costs to schools instead. The following is from a NYC teacher who prefers to remain anonymous:
Once again DOE is demanding that schools send teachers during the school day to grade standardized tests. This year from my school:
Three weeks of grading in April/May.
Week one: 6 ELA teachers, who will have to be replaced with paid (out of our budget) substitutes.
Week two: 6 ELA teachers, again replaced with paid substitutes.
Week three: 6 Math teachers, replaced by paid substitutes.
138 periods of class time lost each week. 900 minutes of extra help, enrichment and team planning lost each week. 72 prep periods, individual and team, lost each week.
A school can pay their way out of sending teachers ($18,000 for our school), but we have no budget for that after four years of cuts.
Questions for the DOE and the state:
Why is grading the tests not part of the contract negotiated with the testing company?
Why is grading not coming out of the profit the testing company is making, instead of out of the budget and classroom time of schools and teachers?
Are all ATR's grading?
Why can't the grading be done after school and on weekends, paying teachers with the same funds that would be used for substitutes?
How can this loss of class time, enrichment, extra help and preparation be justified?